Canadians Now Have A Minority Government. So What!

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NorthReport
Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

It was an odd situation that had Bernier vs Scheer and the reason Scheer was selected. The party could go to someone more centrist and win -- there are some who advocate this now.

I don't believe the party has enough members to support a more moderate leader. They need pro-life voters to make donations and vote.   They need the so-called yellow vesters. They need the militantly pro-oil lobby. Jason Kenny is more likely to become leader than Peter MacKay. 

I agree with the need to devise concrete plans for transition for oil dependent provinces I just think the people of those provinces will not thank us for it. The narrative will always be that the RoC prevented Alberta from selling its oil when it could.

josh

Pondering wrote:

The Bloc resurgence is entirely due to Quebec defensiveness over Bill 21. While Singh may have reassured some over his turban Quebecers strongly agree that leaders and people in government in general should not wear religious symbols. I hoped he could overcome it but never really believed that he could. Were it not for Bill 21 he may have been able to overcome discomfort with it but Bill 21 hightened emotions over it at exactly the wrong time. 

 

The Bloc resurgance was due to the vacum created by the NDP's collapse in the province.  It would not have done as well had, say, Guy Caron, been leader.

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

It was an odd situation that had Bernier vs Scheer and the reason Scheer was selected. The party could go to someone more centrist and win -- there are some who advocate this now.

I don't believe the party has enough members to support a more moderate leader. They need pro-life voters to make donations and vote.   They need the so-called yellow vesters. They need the militantly pro-oil lobby. Jason Kenny is more likely to become leader than Peter MacKay. 

I agree with the need to devise concrete plans for transition for oil dependent provinces I just think the people of those provinces will not thank us for it. The narrative will always be that the RoC prevented Alberta from selling its oil when it could.

They will not thank us en masse but they also won't -- two provinces - shut everyone but the conservatives out. They might disagree but will not have a point.

Sean in Ottawa

josh wrote:

Pondering wrote:

The Bloc resurgence is entirely due to Quebec defensiveness over Bill 21. While Singh may have reassured some over his turban Quebecers strongly agree that leaders and people in government in general should not wear religious symbols. I hoped he could overcome it but never really believed that he could. Were it not for Bill 21 he may have been able to overcome discomfort with it but Bill 21 hightened emotions over it at exactly the wrong time. 

 

The Bloc resurgance was due to the vacum created by the NDP's collapse in the province.  It would not have done as well had, say, Guy Caron, been leader.

Yes.

Pondering

So for me the reality is that the NDP lost those Quebec seats but shouldn't be faulted for it. Based on policy and the federal landscape those seats should have gone NDP. Of course the outcome remains the same, the seats were lost, but the answer must be to fight the prejudice rather than fault the target of it. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

josh wrote:

Pondering wrote:

The Bloc resurgence is entirely due to Quebec defensiveness over Bill 21. While Singh may have reassured some over his turban Quebecers strongly agree that leaders and people in government in general should not wear religious symbols. I hoped he could overcome it but never really believed that he could. Were it not for Bill 21 he may have been able to overcome discomfort with it but Bill 21 hightened emotions over it at exactly the wrong time. 

 

The Bloc resurgance was due to the vacum created by the NDP's collapse in the province.  It would not have done as well had, say, Guy Caron, been leader.

Yes.

But likely Caron would not have resonated on the West Coast, which might have put some of the seats we won in BC in jeopardy.

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

josh wrote:

Pondering wrote:

The Bloc resurgence is entirely due to Quebec defensiveness over Bill 21. While Singh may have reassured some over his turban Quebecers strongly agree that leaders and people in government in general should not wear religious symbols. I hoped he could overcome it but never really believed that he could. Were it not for Bill 21 he may have been able to overcome discomfort with it but Bill 21 hightened emotions over it at exactly the wrong time. 

 

The Bloc resurgance was due to the vacum created by the NDP's collapse in the province.  It would not have done as well had, say, Guy Caron, been leader.

Yes.

But likely Caron would not have resonated on the West Coast, which might have put some of the seats we won in BC in jeopardy.

Good point. I wonder if he would have risen above expectation even more than Singh did in Quebec. The West Coast has a reputation for being open-minded when heard and responded to. I think Caron could have won or lost Quebec based on what he would have said over the last couple years. 

It is difficult to play the what if scenario. Certainly Caron would ahve needed to put significant effort into being a national leader and paying attention to a region as critical to the NDP as the West Coast. I would not assume he could not do this as we have already made assumptions about Singh that did not turn out to be true.

Seems Singh is a capable leader worthy of continuing when people wrote him off only 6 weeks ago.

What the party does need is a credible financial plan for itself; and ongoing social media plan to keep the party engaged; way better between election communications; a strong message for all the people who say  they would consider the NDP and who like Singh but who did not vote NDP this week.

The NDP ran a pretty good campaign but in much of Canada you cannot hope to go from single digits to success. The NDP cannot rest and build from this 2 or 4 years from now. The NDP has to know how to build on what Singh did do during the election and has to understand exactly what that is.

The NDP was written off by most before the start of the election. It was on track to have a rump in BC and nothing else. Singh managed to earn respect and admiration for the NDP over the last few weeks. His job now is to build on that now to turn that into votes the next time around.

Mulcair left the party in worse shape than it is now -- don't look at the seats -- look at the respect, optimism, relevance and potential of the party. The reason the party did so poorly in seats is that none of this could be accepted as a given only a few weeks ago.

The NDP started this campaign tied for fourth and sinking it ended firmly in third and rising.

The party has serious problems including a grudge match with the Greens, a lack of money, and a distance from Members and voters that still has to be bridged. But the party can work on these with the current leader. This could not be said about Mulcair's NDP despite the fact that it had more seats.

The NDP has a lot of rebuilding to do in Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada as well as parts of BC and Alberta where it did not win but could. It needs numbers to come from Ontario but the truth is that this is really possible. I reject the argument that Ontario is a slammed door. The NDP earned a lot of respect but in the FPTP strategic vote universe did not break through. the potential is there if the building continues now. It will never get there if the party goes to sleep until the next election call.

A good start is always a good face. The NDP should begin the recruitment/nomination process right now. These people should be asked to represent the party actively in their communities asap. I know many cannot take the time out. The party has to target those who can -- in some cases they will need employers who will allow significant part time work. The NDP needs a shadow caucus present in every riding.

The NDP needs to understand that it cannot beat the Liberals and Conservatives by either behaing like them or doing what works for them.

The party must understand more than whine about its disadvantages and know it needs a head start. It needs more extraordinary candidates. It needs more efforts between elections than its rivals.

And -- it needs to stop scrapping about leadership now. Singh did earn that. Singh is lousy on some things and the party needs to concentrate not on replacing him but in filling the gaps. 

Singh can use regional lieutenantsto speak for BC, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada where work must be done locally. The fact that he represents BC is great but he as national leader can still elevate a West Coast MP to a regional leadership position charged with reaching to grass-roots.

Singh needs all these other thingsI am calling for (do not need to repeat in this post) 

If the party can put the energy it put into the last two leadership races into this -- surely it can succeed.

Pondering

I think you nailed it Sean. 

NorthReport
NorthReport

So apparently Kinsella has worked for basically all the political parties 

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.5336581

NorthReport

Election post-mortem, Part 3: Why Doug Ford had Toronto seeing red

ANALYSIS: TVO.org speaks with a Liberal organizer about the blackface scandal, the carbon tax, and how Trudeau brought the fight to Ford

https://www.tvo.org/article/election-post-mortem-part-3-why-doug-ford-had-toronto-seeing-red

Debater

JKR wrote:

I'd also prefer p.r. but I think instant runoff voting would be an improvement over what we have now, six political parties running under a plurality system unable to deal fairly with multi-party politics.

That's true.  The reason the voting situation is so complex in Canada now is because there are so many parties.  We're much more similar to a European country than we are to the United States. 

In the U.S there are only 2 parties and so apart from the odd election where there is a viable 3rd party/independent, there's no need for strategic voting and very little discussion of vote-splitting.  It's a Democrat vs. a Republican -- both nationally, and at the state level.  That's pretty much it.  In Canada there is the traditional race between the Liberals, Conservatives & NDP with the Bloc & Greens now getting in on the act, as well as the occasional new party like the People's Party.  With so many parties taking a slice of the pie, it's more difficult in Canada to get a large percentage of the vote now, whereas that is common in the U.S. since there are usually only 2 parties in the pie.

NorthReport
JKR

NorthReport wrote:

Liberals down 3 Winnipeg seats

 

What a coincidence! The NDP's down to 3 seats total in all of Alberta, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, and Newfoundland. The NDP also has 3 seats in all of Manitoba and 2 times 3 seats in all of Ontario and they have 4 times 3 seats in all of Canada.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
The party must understand more than whine about its disadvantages and know it needs a head start. It needs more extraordinary candidates. It needs more efforts between elections than its rivals.

The NDP needs a more fully realized vision for Canada that it advocates for over time. The Conservatives have this, even if the specific policies differ a bit between elections. The Liberals have this, even if their vision for Canada that they campaign on in elections doesn't match the reality of what they do in government.

The NDP often lacks a vision for Canada, especially between elections, and it's vision for Canada is not always consistent from one election to the next. The Ottawa cabal that runs the NDP is well to the right of many of the people who volunteer for the party during elections. The cabal supports a very different vision for Canada than much of it's volunteer base, and it's as though the Ottawa cabal wants to obscure the true disconnect between themselves and the grassroots when it comes to policy and vision.

NorthReport
NorthReport
Sean in Ottawa

Left Turn wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
The party must understand more than whine about its disadvantages and know it needs a head start. It needs more extraordinary candidates. It needs more efforts between elections than its rivals.

The NDP needs a more fully realized vision for Canada that it advocates for over time. The Conservatives have this, even if the specific policies differ a bit between elections. The Liberals have this, even if their vision for Canada that they campaign on in elections doesn't match the reality of what they do in government.

The NDP often lacks a vision for Canada, especially between elections, and it's vision for Canada is not always consistent from one election to the next. The Ottawa cabal that runs the NDP is well to the right of many of the people who volunteer for the party during elections. The cabal supports a very different vision for Canada than much of it's volunteer base, and it's as though the Ottawa cabal wants to obscure the true disconnect between themselves and the grassroots when it comes to policy and vision.

Damn - where is that like button again?

NorthReport

Stop calling it Western. BC is the West and wants no part of this this.

Wexiteers are the new pawns for Canadian conservative leaders

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-canada-wexit-analysis-1.5335328

NorthReport

What a crying shame!!!

The decline and fall of the NDP in Quebec

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/ndp-new-democrat-jagmeet-singh-quebec-1.5336302

NorthReport

Meanwhile back in the real world, it does not matter one iota what the voters want now. The Liberals will probably rule for 4 years basically by themselves, playing one opposition party off against the other.

https://www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2019/10/25/widespread-support-for-liberal-ndp-co-operation-in-parliament-poll-says.html

Sean in Ottawa

NorthReport wrote:

Meanwhile back in the real world, it does not matter one iota what the voters want now. The Liberals will probably rule for 4 years basically by themselves, playing one opposition party off against the other.

https://www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2019/10/25/widespread-support-for-liberal-ndp-co-operation-in-parliament-poll-says.html

Not entirely: the NDP has a tightrope to follow. If the party is picture perfect in handling this -- is very reasonable then it can extract some cooperation but it has to be careful and it cannot avoid some situations where the Liberals will deal with the Conservatives.

An example is the budget. The LPC has to choose one dance partner it cannot play two off against each other in the same vote.

The NDP might be able to force the Liberals to keep a couple of their broken promises...

Policywonk

NorthReport wrote:

Stop calling it Western. BC is the West and wants no part of this this.

Wexiteers are the new pawns for Canadian conservative leaders

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-canada-wexit-analysis-1.5335328

There are parts of BC, particularly the Peace country, that would prefer to be part of Alberta. The coast is rather different from the interior.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Policywonk wrote:

NorthReport wrote:

Stop calling it Western. BC is the West and wants no part of this this.

Wexiteers are the new pawns for Canadian conservative leaders

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-canada-wexit-analysis-1.5335328

There are parts of BC, particularly the Peace country, that would prefer to be part of Alberta. The coast is rather different from the interior.

That is because the Peace country is on the wrong side of the Great Divide and in the middle of the fucking fracking.

Policywonk

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Policywonk wrote:

NorthReport wrote:

Stop calling it Western. BC is the West and wants no part of this this.

Wexiteers are the new pawns for Canadian conservative leaders

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-canada-wexit-analysis-1.5335328

There are parts of BC, particularly the Peace country, that would prefer to be part of Alberta. The coast is rather different from the interior.

That is because the Peace country is on the wrong side of the Great Divide and in the middle of the fucking fracking.

Yes, there is fucking fracking, but the Great Divide is west of the Rocky Mountains given the Peace River cuts through them. There are also major tributaries of the Liard River that are west of the Rocky Mountains. 

NorthReport

The reality is the Liberals even with a weakened Leader still out-foxed the NDP probably because of the unequal money available to each of them Oh well there is always the next time is the NDP’s boring battle cry

 

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/poll-suggests-plenty-canadians-voted-strategically-to-stop-a-party-from-winning/amp

JKR

With one-third of Canadians voting strategically to stop a party they didn't like from winning, I think it would be an improvement to abolish FPTP and switch to instant runoff voting so all Canadians can vote for their honest first choice without fearing that their FPTP vote will help elect a candidate they don't want elected.

Sean in Ottawa

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/poll-strategic-voting-1.5339692

I think the questions asked were not as informative as they could have been.

I would have preferred it to ask questions that were more pointed including:

Did you vote for a party that was not otherwise your number one preference to block another party.

Which party did you end up voting for and which party was your first choice.

This is different than asking someone if they voted strategically by asking if this as a consdieration because you could say yes becuase you researched strategic options but that does not mean that 1/3 did not get the result they expected. 

Asking it in the way proposed would actually determine what the vote would ahve been had everyone voted according to their first preference and therefore what the effect of strategic voting has in terms of measuring actual preference.

The question is so vague that I find the result of the poll uninformative.

Debater

JKR wrote:

With one-third of Canadians voting strategically to stop a party they didn't like from winning, I think it would be an improvement to abolish FPTP and switch to instant runoff voting so all Canadians can vote for their honest first choice without fearing that their FPTP vote will help elect a candidate they don't want elected.

The problem is that the Conservatives are totally opposed to changing the voting system -- they want to keep FPTP because they benefit from it.  I think the BQ will also want to keep FPTP since they benefit from it in Quebec (eg. the BQ never gets a majority of the popular vote in QC but they do well in the seat count because of the splits between the federalist parties).

JKR

Presumably, with more than a majority of seats in the House of Commons and with and 57% of the vote, the Liberals, NDP, and Greens, could pass electoral reform.

Badriya

JKR wrote:

Presumably, with more than a majority of seats in the House of Commons and with and 57% of the vote, the Liberals, NDP, and Greens, could pass electoral reform.

Yes, but the Liberals would have to want the same system--mixed member proportional representation--that the NDP and Greens want.  And that ain't gonna happen.

Debater

A Ranked Voting/Preferential Ballot might be a good compromise.  That's one thing Justin Trudeau may have been right about.

It's a compromise between the Cons who refuse to change FPTP and the NDP/Greens who insist on PR.

A middle ground might be the best way.  For now anyway.

JKR

Badriya wrote:

JKR wrote:

Presumably, with more than a majority of seats in the House of Commons and with and 57% of the vote, the Liberals, NDP, and Greens, could pass electoral reform.

Yes, but the Liberals would have to want the same system--mixed member proportional representation--that the NDP and Greens want.  And that ain't gonna happen.

Unfortunately theLiberals have five times more seats than the NDP and Greens have combined so the Liberals have a lot more leverage in negotiating a way to get rid of FPTP.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Policywonk wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Policywonk wrote:

There are parts of BC, particularly the Peace country, that would prefer to be part of Alberta. The coast is rather different from the interior.

That is because the Peace country is on the wrong side of the Great Divide and in the middle of the fucking fracking.

Yes, there is fucking fracking, but the Great Divide is west of the Rocky Mountains given the Peace River cuts through them. There are also major tributaries of the Liard River that are west of the Rocky Mountains. 

Geography is clearly not your strong suit. The Great Divide is where the water flows either East or West. The Peace country is on the eastern side of the Great Divide. Its not controversial nor poltical just geography.

The Peace River and Slave River Water Basin is the largest water basin area in Alberta. The Peace River begins in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, and flows to Alberta. The river flows northeast across the province, through the town of Peace River and empties into the Slave River. The Slave River is a tributary to the Mackenzie River, the longest river in Canada.

The Peace/Slave River Basin includes inflows from the Wapiti, Smoky, Little Smoky and Wabasca rivers, among many others. The basin is the largest in Alberta, spanning  approximately 1/3 of the province.

https://www.mightypeacewatershedalliance.org/about-1/the-watershed/

 

Badriya

JKR wrote:

Badriya wrote:

JKR wrote:

Presumably, with more than a majority of seats in the House of Commons and with and 57% of the vote, the Liberals, NDP, and Greens, could pass electoral reform.

Yes, but the Liberals would have to want the same system--mixed member proportional representation--that the NDP and Greens want.  And that ain't gonna happen.

Unfortunately theLiberals have five times more seats than the NDP and Greens have combined so the Liberals have a lot more leverage in negotiating a way to get rid of FPTP.

But why would they Liberals want to change the electoral system in any way.  They are the beneficiaries of FPTP.

Aristotleded24

Badriya wrote:

JKR wrote:

Badriya wrote:

JKR wrote:

Presumably, with more than a majority of seats in the House of Commons and with and 57% of the vote, the Liberals, NDP, and Greens, could pass electoral reform.

Yes, but the Liberals would have to want the same system--mixed member proportional representation--that the NDP and Greens want.  And that ain't gonna happen.

Unfortunately theLiberals have five times more seats than the NDP and Greens have combined so the Liberals have a lot more leverage in negotiating a way to get rid of FPTP.

But why would they Liberals want to change the electoral system in any way.  They are the beneficiaries of FPTP.

And why would the Conservatives compromise by agreeing to a runoff system that they have good reason to fear would permanently block them from ever forming the government?

Policywonk

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Policywonk wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Policywonk wrote:

There are parts of BC, particularly the Peace country, that would prefer to be part of Alberta. The coast is rather different from the interior.

That is because the Peace country is on the wrong side of the Great Divide and in the middle of the fucking fracking.

Yes, there is fucking fracking, but the Great Divide is west of the Rocky Mountains given the Peace River cuts through them. There are also major tributaries of the Liard River that are west of the Rocky Mountains. 

Geography is clearly not your strong suit. The Great Divide is where the water flows either East or West. The Peace country is on the eastern side of the Great Divide. Its not controversial nor poltical just geography.

The Peace River and Slave River Water Basin is the largest water basin area in Alberta. The Peace River begins in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, and flows to Alberta. The river flows northeast across the province, through the town of Peace River and empties into the Slave River. The Slave River is a tributary to the Mackenzie River, the longest river in Canada.

The Peace/Slave River Basin includes inflows from the Wapiti, Smoky, Little Smoky and Wabasca rivers, among many others. The basin is the largest in Alberta, spanning  approximately 1/3 of the province.

https://www.mightypeacewatershedalliance.org/about-1/the-watershed/

Nope. Despite what that website says, the ultimate source of the Peace is the source of the Finlay River, which is in the Omenica Mountains west of the Rocky Mountain Trench. The Liard River also has major tributaries west of the Rockies. 

JKR

Badriya wrote:

JKR wrote:

Badriya wrote:

JKR wrote:

Presumably, with more than a majority of seats in the House of Commons and with and 57% of the vote, the Liberals, NDP, and Greens, could pass electoral reform.

Yes, but the Liberals would have to want the same system--mixed member proportional representation--that the NDP and Greens want.  And that ain't gonna happen.

Unfortunately theLiberals have five times more seats than the NDP and Greens have combined so the Liberals have a lot more leverage in negotiating a way to get rid of FPTP.

But why would they Liberals want to change the electoral system in any way.  They are the beneficiaries of FPTP.

Because FPTP benefits the Conservatives much more than the Liberals. Any move away from FPTP would force the Conservatives to make their policies more popular to the majority of voters which would mean that the Conservatives would have to make their policies more moderate and less right wing. If we got rid of FPTP, the Conservatives would have to appeal to a much broader cross section of the voting population as the Liberals, NDP, and Greens already do. The Conservatives could no longer win power with mostly just the votes of their right wing rump base.

JKR

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Badriya wrote:

JKR wrote:

Badriya wrote:

JKR wrote:

Presumably, with more than a majority of seats in the House of Commons and with and 57% of the vote, the Liberals, NDP, and Greens, could pass electoral reform.

Yes, but the Liberals would have to want the same system--mixed member proportional representation--that the NDP and Greens want.  And that ain't gonna happen.

Unfortunately theLiberals have five times more seats than the NDP and Greens have combined so the Liberals have a lot more leverage in negotiating a way to get rid of FPTP.

But why would they Liberals want to change the electoral system in any way.  They are the beneficiaries of FPTP.

And why would the Conservatives compromise by agreeing to a runoff system that they have good reason to fear would permanently block them from ever forming the government?

 

I agree that as long as the Conservatives have a lock on the right wing vote and the left wing vote is split, the Conservatives will never agree to getting rid of FPTP. Electoral reform depends on the Liberals, NDP, and Greens working together and reaching some sort of compromise.

KarlL

 

JKR wrote:

 

s the Conservatives have a lock on the right wing vote and the left wing vote is split, the Conservatives will never agree to getting rid of FPTP. Electoral reform depends on the Liberals, NDP, and Greens working together and reaching some sort of compromise.

Precisely.  As long as a majority outcome is plausible for the Liberals, they will favour FPTP.  But their challenge in obtaining a majority is huge with the (re-)emergence of three solitudes.

Atlantic Canada is already Liberal favourable but those once-in-a-generation New Brunswick seats are not coming back to the Liberal fold anytime soon.

The Bloc Quebecois is back as the party of francophone Quebec, especially outside Montreal.  A government going for a third term can't realistically expect to scoop those ridings back in the regions of Quebec.

Ontario could deliver a few more seats but not enough for  majority.  Everyone looks at the GTHA but there is a solid group of ridings that are deep blue in Ontario.

The Prairies, Winnipeg excepted looks closed to the Liberals.

BC could yield a few but given TMX and a three-and-a-half party split, big gains can't happen there.

So the best case scenario is grabbing a few in each of the five main regions of Canada.  That isn't a highly plausible outcome.  What is far more plausible is losses.  

My calculation would be that it is far better to impose a long-term disadvantage on the Conservatives by moving away from FPTP than to chase an elusive majority but at far greater risk of losing it all.  If a solid minority is the best that can reasonably be hoped for, time to bake in the Liberals' position as the plurality winners, more often than not.

Pondering

If Canadians wanted PR it would have a chance but they don't. Condemning the other parties for doing what Canadians want is unproductive. 

JKR

If Canadians wanted socialism or social democracy it would have a chance but they don't. Condemning the other parties for doing what Canadians want is unproductive. 

Sean in Ottawa

Canadians do not know what they want becuase they are uninformed about how parliament works and almost all aspects of their democracy.

Government's job in this would be to explain the options in a neutral way and allow Canadians a real process to come to an agreement. 

This has not happened.

Debater

Few losing opposition leaders get a second chance - and fewer still succeed if they get it

Andrew Scheer points to Stephen Harper's 2004 defeat for inspiration, but Harper's accomplishment was rare

CBC, Oct 30, 2019

Éric Grenier

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/grenier-defeated-opposition-1.5339717

NorthReport
NorthReport

 I didn’t vote for Elizabeth May to be Speaker—I voted for her leadership voice on climate action

  • Green Leader Elizabeth May has left the impression that she's ready to say goodbye to debating climate issues in the House of Commons.

2 of 3

  • Green Leader Elizabeth May has left the impression that she's ready to say goodbye to debating climate issues in the House of Commons.ELIZABETH MAY

Well, now: Green party leader Elizabeth May is “interested” in being the next Speaker of the House of Commons.

"It interests me," May said. "It would be wrong to say it hasn't interested me for a very long time."

"There is an attraction, I think, in a minority Parliament having a Speaker who represents a party not in power." 

She won’t say if she petitioned Justin Trudeau during their discussion the day after the election to support her bid to fill that role. That is, if she should decide to put her name forward as a candidate for Speaker when the new Parliament votes by secret ballot to make that selection, as its first order of business.

"I think private conversations should stay private," she said.

Uh, no.

Sorry, Elizabeth, but when you are the leader of a party, it’s not cool to play coy about whether or not you are quietly canvassing the role of Speaker with the prime minister whom we expect you to hold accountable as the leader of your opposition party.

Indeed, using any such private conversation to in any way enhance your own personal interest in serving as Speaker would be a huge no-no, in my books. Some might even call it a real or perceived conflict of interest.  

In any case, if May had not touched on the issue in her first post-election meeting with her “good friend” Trudeau, a simple “no, it wasn’t something we discussed” would have sufficed. By not saying that, she has left the opposite impression, probably unintentionally.

No matter, the toothpaste is now out of the tube and there’s no putting it back.

As the CBC reported, “May said she thinks she'd make a good Speaker, adding she'd work to restore civility to the House.”

“‘A thorough understanding of parliamentary rules and procedures and a willingness to be completely non-partisan—now, if those are two important criteria, I would suit both of those for sure,’ she said. ‘And I think most members of Parliament know that I am less partisan, certainly, than most members of Parliament, certainly more non-partisan than any other party leader.’ 

‘And I want Parliament to work because I love the institution and I respect our institutions and want to see them elevated and not degraded.’ "

All of that is true, no doubt. But with respect, that’s not the point.

The point is what we should expect of party leaders when we elect them to represent us, both directly, as our MPs, and indirectly, as the one asking us to trust him or her as the leader of that party in the Parliament to be elected.

Can you imagine the public outcry from Green voters if B.C.’s Green Leader Andrew Weaver or New Brunswick Green Leader David Coon opted to immediately quit their job to run for Speaker in those provinces’ minority governments?

Or if P.E.I. Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker had quit his leadership post right after being elected, to serve as that legislature’s Speaker?

Unthinkable. But now, I guess, we have to ask every minor party leader if they might quit their job to serve as Speaker in the next Parliament, seeing as how that might be a position they had on their personal career radar for a long, long time.

I was one of the 33,454 residents of Saanich-Gulf Islands who voted—again—for Green Leader Elizabeth May as my MP.

She won with 49 percent of the vote, with nearly 20,000 more votes than the second-place Conservative challenger and with almost 25,000 more votes than the fourth-place NDP candidate.

As such, May likely won’t lose any sleep over my feeling somewhat betrayed by her instant Speaker speculation.

Fact is, had I ever imagined that she might immediately step down as Green leader and effectively silence herself in combatting the climate crisis, I probably would have cast my ballot for the NDP candidate, Sabina Singh.

As Speaker, May would be prohibited from leading the fight for meaningful climate action that she has long embraced as her most passionately held cause. She would be a parliamentary mute in the debates and votes on bills and proceedings.

Contrary to her pledge that she would never support any government that does not commit to her party’s climate action targets, she would, in essence, be throwing at least one more vote to help Trudeau maintain the confidence of Parliament, come what may.

I, for one, was counting on May to lead that climate charge, which she has aggressively called on NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to fight for with all his parliamentary might, in propping up Trudeau’s minority government.

Elizabeth May✔@ElizabethMay

Singh already abandoning climate. Stand against . Stand for real climate action. That's the story you told voters. Do it. https://twitter.com/mikelecouteur/status/1189599442606968832 …

Mike Le Couteur✔@mikelecouteur

Replying to @mikelecouteur

“I’m not going to negotiate lines in the sand in the public” @theJagmeetSingh on what would cause him to topple the government #cdnpoli

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All that aside, May’s candidacy for Speaker, should she decide to take that leap, might be a bit of a long shot.

It was only a few weeks ago that she was slamming Andrew Scheer for doing “permanent damage” to “respect for the office of the Speaker” by re-entering partisan politics in his successful party leadership bid.

A cheap shot, I thought at the time. Of course he had every right to run for his party’s leadership, after being replaced as Speaker by Trudeau’s Liberal MP Geoff Regan, following the 2015 election.

Here in British Columbia, lots of Speakers have left their posts to serve as cabinet ministers in partisan roles.

They include, for example, former Social Credit MLA John Reynolds, former NDP MLAs Joan Sawicki and Dale Lovick, and former B.C. Liberal MLA Claude Richmond.

Still, it would have been nice to know when May derided Scheer for supposedly using the Speaker’s office to advance his personal ambitions that she might actually have her own eye on taking on his old job.

A position, it’s worth repeating, that she had been apparently personally interested in "for a very long time”.

After May’s other numerous partisan election campaign attacks on Scheer, I’d be shocked if his caucus colleague voted to support her candidacy for Speaker.

Her wonderfully savage and wholly unfair comparison of Scheer to Donald Trump in the English-language debate probably did little to endear her to the Conservatives.

I’d be amazed if they would want to shower May with that new job and its handsome salary and trappings in helping Trudeau boost his slim parliamentary plurality, by appointing her as Canada’s equivalent to the United Kingdom’s outgoing bombastic Speaker, John Bercow.

Video: Watch some highlights from John Bercow's legendary rule over the sometimes unruly British House of Commons.

Would the Liberals vote for May as Speaker?

Sure, if they don’t mind rewarding and newly empowering someone who rightly went to such great lengths to hammer Trudeau as someone who doesn’t understand or respect the rule of law, who has refused to even apologize for his illegal conduct, and who should yet be subject to a public inquiry and an RCMP investigation.

Bravo! What are a few harsh words between friends?

Then again, she more than proved that she was indeed a “good friend” of Trudeau’s by never insisting on holding him accountable as a precondition for her party’s support of his minority government, if her Greens held the balance of power.

Certainly, May would get Jody Wilson-Raybould’s vote.

I mean, how much more “nonpartisan” can you get as a party leader than doing as May did in endorsing JWR in Vancouver-Granville?

Don’t vote for her own Green party's candidate, Louise Boutin, May as much as told those voters by openly throwing her support behind Wilson-Raybould. Understand, Boutin was only running against Puglaas because the Green Party constitution requires it to field a candidate in every riding, May insisted.

Yet, despite May’s vote of confidence in the latter at the expense of the former, some 2,554 people still voted for Boutin. Well done.

How about the NDP? Would they rally behind May as Speaker?

Sure. Because why wouldn’t Jagmeet Singh and his 23 caucus colleagues want to put May on that pedestal, after all of her helpful “nonpartisan” and “constructive” post-election comments about their “dishonest” campaign and their party’s newly beloved leader?

Ever since losing the additional two seats that May likely expected her Greens to win in Greater Victoria from the NDP, she has been on a Twitter tear.

Of course, there’s always the Bloc Québécois. May hardly offended them at all.

Far be it from Yves-François Blanchet to want someone other than her in the Speaker’s chair, anxious as he is to help make the hung Parliament “work” for Canadians.

Why not dilute his party’s relative voting power by a factor of one to help Trudeau advance Quebec’s interests over the other opposition parties’ objections, if and when those schisms materialize? May, yes, by all means.

"If elected Speaker, obviously one can't be party leader," May said. "Do we launch a leadership succession plan now? Do we give it six months in case there is a snap election?"

Actually, Elizabeth, I think you opened up a whole different can of worms.

For now that we know that you are very interested in becoming the Speaker, you should resign as party leader forthwith, whether or not you are “elected” to the post.

You have already made it abundantly clear that you have no wish to stay on as leader. And after yet another abysmal campaign, most Canadians can well understand why you and your party might agree on that point, sooner rather than later.

Notwithstanding May’s “historic” one-extra-seat “victory”, her party’s 6.5 per cent share of the popular vote was actually less than the 6.8 per cent it won in her first election as party leader, in 2008. 

In a word, she blew it, big time. 

No sense in blaming the NDP for beating the Greens back on South Vancouver Island and elsewhere. If ever there was an election served up on a platter for the Greens, it was this one.

As usual, their support dwindled during the campaign for any number of reasons. 

They included not having a tangible, focused campaign that relentlessly hammered on stopping the Trans Mountain pipeline, holding Trudeau accountable for Lavscam, and insisting on proportional representation as non-negotiable “deal breakers” in supporting any minority government.

They included putting out a ridiculously costly and often economically loopy party platform, and insisting on a politically undoable 60 percent emissions reduction target by 2030 as the Greens’ price of power in a hung Parliament.

The campaign fundamentally failed to give Green target voters a compelling reason to abandon both the Liberals and the NDP and award May the “balance of responsibility”, as she put it.

Instead, what they saw was a party that had racist and separatist candidates in its midst, and a leader who was as prone as Scheer was to screwing up her responses to relatively straightforward campaign issue questions and internal party challenges.

Especially on the issue of protecting a women’s right to choose from would-be Green MPs who might not take kindly to the party whip in advancing their own pro-life values.

Though the Greens’ campaign was less amateurish than their previous electoral outings, it was still nowhere near ready for primetime, May’s stellar debate performances aside.

Organizationally, it was not at all up to snuff.

From its candidate recruitment process and its events planning and execution, to its communications capacity and its get-out-the-vote effort, the entire campaign was entirely too...Green.

May did her best, but in answer to her questions, "Do we launch a leadership succession plan now?”—yes, a thousand times, yes. Especially now, after the Speaker speculation. 

“Do we give it six months in case there is a snap election?"

No, not on your life, because the chances of that happening are about as great as the Greens winning a bunch more seats anytime soon with May as their leader.

If Elizabeth May becomes Speaker, either Fredericton MP-elect Jenica Atwin or Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP-elect Paul Manly could become the new leader of the Green Party of Canada.

If Elizabeth May becomes Speaker, either Fredericton MP-elect Jenica Atwin or Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP-elect Paul Manly could become the new leader of the Green Party of Canada.

So, by all means, get on with choosing a new leader.

Elizabeth May might well make a great Speaker. Indeed, I think she would be terrific, for all the reasons she cites that would make her well-suited to the job.

Having said that, the reason I voted for her—and the reason that many other Canadians voted for her party—is because of the voice she alone stands to offer in bringing urgency to the climate crisis debate in this next Parliament.

Silencing that voice—her voice—by electing May as Speaker would be a significant loss for climate activists everywhere.

She can only be that vocal thorn in Trudeau’s side if she is free to speak her mind and use her vote to exert pressure on him and Singh alike to make climate action a priority.

For that reason, if for no other, I hope to hell that May either gives up her Speaker aspirations or that she loses out to someone less worthy when Parliament casts its ballots to pick its Speaker.

https://www.straight.com/news/1320416/martyn-brown-i-didnt-vote-elizabeth-may-be-speaker-i-voted-her-leadership-voice-climate

NorthReport

AHA! 

Green Party's Jenica Atwin wants to liberate New Brunswick from the Irvings

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/11/02/news/green-partys-jenica-atwin-wants-liberate-new-brunswick-irvings

NorthReport

Of Course Canada Is Divided — That’s the Whole Point of Elections

The results do confirm some political sickness; the challenge is to learn from them and change.

Predictably, the media’s post-election hangover features what you might call a splitting headache — the claim divisiveness is suddenly stalking the land.

 

“Canada is truly divided now,” lamented one commentator. “Election results reflect a divided nation,” Chantal Hébert told her readers. Another pundit bemoaned “a divided Parliament.”

Saskatchewan’s Premier Scott Moe predictably said the Liberals have “divided our nation.”

Just as predictably, Justin Trudeau promised “we’ll govern for everyone,” as if he’d been thinking along Trumpian lines about governing only for his supporters and then thought better of it.

https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2019/10/24/Canada-Divided-Of-Course/

NDPP

We may not know exactly who they govern for but we know it aint us. And in that we know more than the poor chumps who think it's them because the enemy politicians told them so. Class war now.

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